Indica vs Sativa: Everything You Need to Know About Edibles

by Sean Cooley
indica sativa edibles

You may already be aware that the terms “indica” and “sativa” are not all they’re cracked up to be. Each cannabis strain brings with it a unique profile of cannabinoids and terpenes, resulting in an equally unique bouquet of flavors, aromas, and effects. In short, sativa and indica designate a cannabis plant’s growth characteristics, not how it will make you feel. An indica bud won’t necessarily give you a nighttime couch-lock high, just as a sativa won’t automatically create an energetic buzz.

Edibles, however, are a slightly different story. From gummies to baked goods to beverages, most cannabis-infused edibles on the market are manufactured to deliver a specified dosage and corresponding effect, making it easier for the consumer to plan ahead and know what type of high they’re going to get. And though you’ll find an ever-widening variety of edibles on the market today that move beyond the binary sativa and indica labels, there’s still no shortage of cannabis products that use “indica” and “sativa” to denote the flavor of effect. To get you started on the right foot, here are seven common differences in effect between the indica and sativa edibles you’ll find in the market today.

Sense of Calm

Indica edibles can be great for reducing worries and inviting a sense of calm. When someone consumes an indica edible, they may feel more relaxed, experiencing a sedated body high. Sativa edibles often give users a rapid sense of euphoria that leaves them feeling uplifted. Sativa edibles may not be the first choice for people who suffer from stress or anxiety because they can inadvertently worsen those problems. If you want to reduce your tensions and worries, then an indica edible is a better choice for you.

Indoor and Outdoor Activities

Indica edibles are better for people who want to relax, while sativa edibles are better for being more active. When someone consumes an indica edible, they are more likely to stay indoors and watch a movie or engage in other sedentary activities. On the other hand, a person who consumes a sativa edible is more likely to feel like going outside to enjoy the sun.

Increase in Appetite

Indica edibles are more likely to increase appetite, while sativa edibles can decrease it. This is because indica edibles work on the whole body, including the digestive system. Sativa edibles work more on the brain and can cause people to feel less hungry. If you’re looking to eat a lot, an indica edible may be the better choice. 

Sleepy Feeling

If you’re looking to relax and get some sleep, then an indica edible (or, one labeled explicitly as a sleep aid, which is becoming more common) is a good choice. Indica edibles are more likely to cause someone to feel sleepy. Sativa edibles do not usually have this effect, though some varieties can make people feel tired. If you’re looking to stay awake and active, then you probably want to go with a sativa edible.

indica sativa edibles

Effect Duration

Indica edible may take longer to set in, but last a lot longer once they do. Sativa edibles will often be felt more quickly, and the effects will last for a shorter time. They both have different onset times because indica edibles are absorbed by the body first, then spread throughout the body to help alleviate physical discomfort and other symptoms. Sativa edibles work more on the brain and give a cerebral high.

Increased Alertness

Sativa edibles cause users to become more engaged with the world around them. When people consume sativa edibles, they are often more aware of their surroundings and less anxious. Indica edibles will usually make someone feel more introspective. So if you’re looking for something to boost your alertness, a sativa edible is probably the right choice for you.


Indica edibles make people more introverted and less engaged with the world around them. Sativa edibles do not usually have this effect, but some are manufactured to help consumers feel more creative. If you’re looking to relax, turn the volume down on your thoughts, and disconnect from the world, you should probably choose an indica edible. If you’re looking to develop new ideas, a sativa edible is probably the way to go.


Bear in mind that these are general guidelines for indica and sativa-labeled edibles, typically designed to be more consistent in effect than smokable cannabis bud. As previously mentioned, the edible market is ever-expanding and ever-diversifying. It’s essential to look out for and understand dosages and intended use before choosing an edible to consume. Cannabis edibles are far from interchangeable. Always make sure to do your research and check labels for suggested use instructions to know whether a given edible product will provide you with the effect you’re looking for.

Explore edibles on the Grassdoor menu and find the one that works for you.

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